I’m forever writing nonsense like “music and art should challenge you” like some sort of desperately earnest teenager. And I do believe it should, but I wasn’t prepared for just how challenging “For The Consideration of Amateur Jockeys” would be.
Civil Elegies music is….probably best described as a reaction. Nothing here feels composed or structured. It feels like a the rawest of nerves being slammed repeatedly against each other with only the briefest rest bites which are positively pregnant with menace. You know when people describe Seal as easy listening? This is the opposite of that.
That’d make a pretty cool album sticker right? “The opposite of Seal.”
Which isn’t to say Seal isn’t satisfying to listen to, but it won’t make your seat feel uncomfortable like the closing phrases of the “The Idiot” do and Seal won’t make you physically feel tension like the genuinely unnerving “Children on the Road”. If Seal is music to make love to then Civil Elegies is music to hate fuck someone to.
Or something like that. I’m rapidly running out of useful comparisons to Seal.
What this record never runs out of though is really great rhythmic moments. From start to finish the percussive bent of this album drives it relentlessly forward like some sort of behemoth. Perhaps like that giant Ginger Bread man from Shrek 2 if he was ever resurrected and truly realised what he was a part of…
Those quips are of course nonsense and don’t do a piece of work like this any justice. This is a truly phenomenal collection of incredibly raw and intimate music that absolutely refuses to compromise in anyway. Both musically and lyrically, which is something I’d applaud until my hands bled. Which coincidentally, is how a lot of this record sounds: like it was played to the absolute limit, and then they just kept going.
“Sertaline” is easily my favourite piece of heavy music I’ve heard this year. Hands down. Or up. Or however you place them to make a point. The bros in snapbacks and over sized t-shirts would have you believe that down tuning and shouting slogans in t-shirts branded with misogyny is brutal but it isn’t. This is truly brutal.
That sounds like another good album sticker actually. “This is brutal 64: featuring the most aggressive sounds of your desperation”.
This isn’t easy listening, but a lot of the things you need to hear aren’t.